Peace Boat Fukushima Youth Project 2014

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Peace Boat and Fukushima Youth Project, in Sri Lanka

In their ongoing support of the disaster affected Tohoku region, Peace Boat travelled with a group of elementary and junior high school kids from Minamisouma.  Minamisouma is a city in Fukushima severely affected by the nuclear disaster.  Study, play, forced relocation…every aspect of their lives were affected.

 

The participants spent a couple of weeks onboard sailing from Japan, to Singapore, and finally to Sri Lanka, where they came by to see ME!  A fellow chemist and I took them through the labs.  Of course we talked about the tests and experiments we do, but we also talked about how labs in Sri Lanka and Japan are different, about safety and hygiene.  We even had discussions about deep things like “what is volunteerism?” and “what is development?”

 

With all that they have been through, I was very glad to see that they were so eager and optimistic about the outside world.  Maybe it was just the fact that these were kids, spending their spring break traveling the oceans with other kids, but their happiness was contagious and gave me a much needed boost of motivation to continue working to improve water safety in Sri Lanka.

 

These kids certainly have a unique view on the meaning of life.  It’s inspiring and tragic at the same time, but I have no doubt they’ll keep being awesome and make real, positive change in the world.
Also great to see old friends, in new places!

 

ピースボート、福島子どもプロジェクト、in スリランカ

春休みを使って小中学生たちが世界の船旅を出来る「ピースボート福島子どもプロジェクト」がスリランカに寄港!そして、なんと、僕の活動先に訪問しに来てくれた。「スリランカのラボなんて見て楽しいのかな。。。」と緊張してたけど、同僚ケミストの協力も得て結構楽しい時間を過ごせた。

 

ラボツアーをしながら、「日本とスリランカの違い」とか「安全・衛生」についてかなり熱く語ってくれる子どもたち。「ボランティアって、何?」「開発って、何?」見たいな深~い話も!

 

僕が想像できる以上大変な現状と向かい合っている子どもたち。でも、あんなに仲良く、明るく、前向きで。。。尊敬した。この子たちは政治や世界や人生について今までなかったような考えて方をしている気がする。今までなかったような素晴らしい大人になって行くと思う。

詳細リンク (links…no English)

http://pbv.or.jp/blog_fukushima/

http://pbv.or.jp/download/other/20140529_FukushimaKids_Report.pdf

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